Monday, May 11, 2009

Words are Terroristical

Surprise! Barack Obama is a fascist, say GOP commentators, bloggers, and even politicians, including ex-presidential candidate Ron Paul.

Unless, of course, Obama is a socialist, as claimed by many of the same people, including Ron Paul and other folks at the first link above. Saul Anuzis, a contender for GOP party chair, explains that party supporters weren't getting enough traction from 'socialist,' so they're trying the new 'fascist' tag.

'We've so overused the word 'socialism' that it no longer has the bad connotation it had 20 years ago, or even 10,' says Anuzis. 'Fascism - everybody still thinks that's a bad thing.'

Or maybe President Obama is a Communist - people still hate Communists, right?

That link, like the previous one, comes from, which used to be my favorite amusing conservative site until they kicked me off for offering opposing views. (Really! That's why you'll never read a dissenting opinion there. They don't allow them.)

Even if you can't ignore such trash (the above article states a KGB agent admits Obama is a secret Communist), you can use your head. Can he be all three at once?

Remember that it was the Communists who fought the Fascist government in Spain, and that makes sense. They're at opposite ends of the political spectrum; they combine no better than the Yankees and the Red Sox. Those pundits are just spouting play-yard taunts, and they might as well call Obama a 'poopy-head.'

We've seen this before, most recently with abuse of the word 'terrorism,' which has devolved into meaning only, 'something you don't like.' As you know, 'war is terrorism,' as is ignorance. Hate is terrorism, as are global warming, and of course - of course! - taxes.

Such word-napping aside, it's actually useful to have a word that describes the deliberate targeting of civilians. War is awful, of course, but there's a moral chasm between shooting an armed assailant and planting a bomb on a school bus. Equating the two elides an important distinction, and when we muddy the words, we cloud our thinking.

So don't believe the name-callers when they toss around the 'fascist' label, nor the 'socialist' one. You know the difference, or if you don't, you still know there is one.

After all, you're no poopy-head.

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